Join Date: Jul 2005
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Like Murreydobe I feed what the individual dog does well on. So far it's always been a food with grain in it. Usually several grains. My dogs have never had problems eating any grain, including corn, wheat, rice, millet, barley etc. Dogs are NOT strictly speaking carnivores--they are semi-omnivorous scavengers. Cats are true obligate carnivores.
Presently I have one dog who eats Purina ProPlan Sensitive Skin and Stomach, one who eats Kirkland Premium Chicken, Rice and Vegetables (it's actually almost identical to Diamond, who makes it for Costco) top of the line kibble under their own name) and one dog who eats a mixture.
I have tried a number of the higher end kibbles without much success--sloppy stools with some of them, dogs who didn't find them palatable with others. So I pretty much stick to the poorly rated (by the various dog food raters) mid range kibbles by the bigger companies like Iams (I've fed several of the Eukanuba kibbles with success), Purina (various of the ProPlan formulas), Hills (had one dog on a prescription diet for 6 years).
I don't feed lamb based kibbles--I've had bad luck with those--poor coats, smelly dogs and trouble maintaining weight--so I don't even try them any more. And I don't switch food at all unless some dog isn't doing well on the diet he is on--a vet dermatologist/allergist pointed out many years ago when I had taken someone elses dog in for an appointment that with the variety of protein bases (and it's the protein in a kibble that is more commonly the cause of food allergies than the grain content) being readily available and all the food switching going on it gets nearly impossibly to do a food elimination diet since a lot of dogs have been fed everything at one time or another.
I really want to be able, if a food allergy is suspected to find a novel protein and carbohydrate and find out if it is food or something else that the dog is reacting to.
I looked at raw years ago when the first wave of raw feeding started--did a lot of research and made a decision that it wasn't something I wanted to do. I've revisited the whole idea several times and it still remains something I don't really want to do.
As it is, my dogs have cast iron stomachs and can eat pretty much anything without having bouts of blow out diarrhea or puking their guts up. The only allergy in my pets is a cat who is, literally, allergic to protein--it started when he was about six months old and got worse with age--he would have been a dead cat by now if it weren't for a hydrolized protein kibble from Royal Canin--his system doesn't recognize it as a specific protein so he can eat it--as he can not eat anything else--if you read the ingredients you'd cringe--but for him it works.